Today I received a text from one or our older sons: “Mom, how long does it take until you know someone is ‘the one’?” I stopped what I was doing, swallowed hard and sat down. My first thought was, “Are we here already?–Really?”
I looked back in my journal from the year he was 1 year old. My entry: “He has been loads of fun lately. However, the past 2 days have been difficult–he’s cried a lot and gets angry at being told ‘no’ [duh, who doesn’t??]. I guess he is testing his independence.”
And now, here we are. He IS independent. He’s become a mature, wise, God-fearing man…that little boy who fell to the floor crying when I took something away from him. The little boy I thought might make me crazy because he wanted my attention so much and said, “Mommy” over and over all day.
Wasn’t that yesterday? Didn’t the light of the flash just go off as the camera clicked? And in that flash we’ve gone from there to here.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad he no longer falls on the floor crying and I’m thankful he’s been potty trained for quite some time now! I’m glad he loves the God of his father and mother and he knows how to read and how to blow a bubble (i love you, baby!). But, my heart aches, burns really. I miss him. I miss the other son who’s gone and already miss the one about to leave. “Home” will no longer be here and soon he’ll be asking another woman for advice.
The days of mothering young are demanding, thankless, tiring, frustrating, lonely and just plain difficult. I wish I’d stopped more, gotten the camera out and snapped the seconds. I’d take a picture of the tantrum and the “#2” on the couch during potty training. I’d take a shot of all the tupperware pulled out of that bottom cabinet, the receipt for all the diapers and the baby food all over his tray. Yeah, I’d click a picture of the bags under my eyes and the cheerios on the floor. Then, when I clicked that camera and the bright light of the flash shined on each second, I’d be reminded that it passes that quickly. And I’d give thanks for just that second.
My Hands Were Busy
My hands were busy throughout the day
I didn’t have much time to play
The little games you asked me to.
I didn’t have much time for you.
I’d wash your clothes, I’d sew and cook,
But when you’d bring your picture book
And ask me please to share your fun,
I’d say: “A little later, son.”
I’d tuck you in all safe at night
And hear your prayers, turn out the light,
Then tiptoe softly to the door…
I wished I’d stayed a minute more.
For time is short, the years rush past…
A little boy grows up so fast.
No longer is he at your side,
His precious secrets to confide.
The picture books are put away,
There are no longer games to play,
No goodnight kiss, no prayers to hear…
That all belongs to yesteryear.
My hands, once busy, now are still.
The days are long and hard to fill.
I wish I could go back and do
The little things you asked me to.